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“Superb Service - great relaxation”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Ngala Lodge

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Ngala Lodge
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Fajara
Certificate of Excellence
Caergwrle
Level Contributor
52 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Superb Service - great relaxation”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 5, 2009

This is our fifth stay on half board. It is a wonderful hotel, very quiet, superb staff and amazing fine dining. Outside the hotel life is third world, there are bumpsters but are easily discouraged! Be polite and firm. The gambian people are friendly. If you can offer support in contributions to schools and child welfare it is a bonus. The Staff at Ngala are so polite and friendly and are very keen to make you welcome. Do not expect loud music, televisions or bad behaviour - a Superb Chillout. It is a treat to stay there - thanks to Wilma, the very friendly manager.

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Valueformoney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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435 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (161)
Date | Rating
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English first
Swansea , Wales
Level Contributor
59 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 26, 2008

This was a last minute holiday (I think 4 days could be considered last minute) for me and my fiance. It was recommended by the travel agent who had stayed there last year. What a beautiful place. The hotel is a piece of paradise in a very poor country. The staff are very friendly, helpful and not at all intrusive. Everyone working at the hotel aims to ensure that your holiday is relaxing and that everything you need is provided. Gambia itself is very poor and we did a few of the trips and 'bumsters' are everywhere which can be extremely daunting and also very irritating. I don't think we will return, but this is more due to the other places we want to visit rather than anything else but if we did return to the Gambia then we would definately return to Ngala Lodge. We were half board and was really grateful we were as some of the recommended restaurants were really expensive and some of the other couples went out for dinner and were disappointed. The food was outstanding. The drinks are very expensive so expect a big bar bill at the end of the week, but they only used top brands. The pool is small but due to there being only 18 suites this is not a problem. The rooms have everything that you need including robes, hairdryers, mosquito nets and plugs etc. They are very spacious and ours was cool even when the aircon was off. The hotel grounds are immaculately kept and the gardners work very quitely. As we stayed just at the end of the rainy season (and it has been a particulary wet year in the Gambia) the mosquito's were everwhere all day. Fortunately I was only bitten once but everyone else had lots of bites so make sure you take a spray or a gel with more than 50% deet. All in all a fantastic experience and I would recommend this hotel to anyone.

  • Liked — The suites
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank TracyHSwansea_Wales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 18, 2008

My partner and I stayed at Ngala lodge earlier this year and had an amazing week of pure relaxation.

It was low season which we loved as pretty much had the place to ourselves. We ate in the restaurant every night as the food was so great. Staff are wonderfully friendly and helpful but without being intrusive - nothing like the 'bumsters' at the airport and in the streets, please don't let that put you off The Gambia.

The suite was very spacious and kept wonderfully clean by the maids. The air conditioning is a god send.

Little tip - leave behind any left over mosquito repellant and suncreams, the staff will be very grateful.

We have recommended the Ngala to all of our friends and family.

  • Liked — Beautiful gardens and suites
  • Disliked — Lack of beach
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Holiday_junkie81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxfordshire, UK
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 12, 2008

We stayed here for a week and just returned yesterday. This is a great hotel although we hardly saw anyone else during our whole stay (admittedly it is low season in June). We stayed in an Atlantic suite and it was fantastic, huge and always kept spotless by the chambermaids with a great view over the ocean. The staff at the hotel are extremely friendly (especially Oli and Alajie in the restaurant during the day!) and will go out of their way to make sure you have everything you need. The gardens are all superb and I would definitely recommend this hotel to people who don't need entertaining (there are no tv's/newspapers/evening entertainment) and if you want a complete chillout holiday. The food in the restaurant was better for breakfast and dinner than in the evening and we chose to eat out most nights. Dining out is more expensive than we thought and is more comparable to eating out in the UK in terms of pricing. The best restaurants we found were Italian Connection (fantastic bruschetta and a very warm welcome from Danilo!), Shiraz (excellent home cooked Lebanese food) and the Clay Oven (Indian), we could have eaten in only these 3 alone! The 4WD was a great trip and all in all I would highly recommend this hotel for a complete chillout (we didn't get any hassle from the "bumsters" except for at the airport and guests from other hotels said that they were hassled as soon as they left their complex). One more thing - remember to lock your suitcase as ours were rifled through after being checked in!! Great holiday with extremely friendly people!

Stayed June 2008
Helpful?
2 Thank Micheymoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United Knigdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 13, 2008

We recently stayed at Ngala Lodge. We have stayed in other hotels in Gambia but would not return here. On our return home my husband summed it up by saying " Minimum investment maximum profit." If you wish to lie by the pool you have to get up very very early as there are only about 8 sunbeds to lie on. And a few chairs to sit on. All of which could do with a face lift and new cushions. We did not have a problem with the room but the jacuzzi would not warm up. The restarant is owned seperately from the hotel and do not accept credit cards so you need to make sure you have enough to pay your bill by cash. Also we found although we booked half board there was a supplement on the food (not breakfast) which we were not told about. The staff were very withdrawn when the management were around and we were told not to tip individually just give the money into the management and they would divide it equally amongst the staff. I don't think so. We tipped throughout the holiday. The gardens are nice but there always seems to be a breeze and some days just to windy to lie in the gardens. Also if you are a beach lover (we love walking on the beach) you have to watch the tides all the time. As the beach is cut off by rocks you have to wait until the tide is right out before being able to go for a walk and then you have to make sure you don't get cut off on the way back. Many of the people staying there had tummy upsets, us included. Maybe this is just Gambia who knows.
All in all it was OK but would not return to this hotel.

  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
11 Thank knitgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kent, England
Level Contributor
37 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 11, 2008

Have just returned from a trip to Gambia staying with friends and ending with two nights at the Ngala. What a delightful experience!
Outside the hotel compound is a busy, dusty road, but as soon as you pass throught the gates, it's a completely different experience. Most of the rooms here are booked through Gambia Experience, but we were travelling independently and were therefore allocated a room in the main lodge rather than the Manor or the newer Atlantic Wing. However, we were in no way disappointed with our accommodation. We stayed in Room 3 which was spacious, with a seating area with two sofas, very comfortable king size bed, huge terrace area overlooking the pool and a wonderful, wonderful shower.
The gardens are beautifully planted and very well tended and lead down to a lawned area with sunbeds overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The whole garden area is lush and tropical.
The restaurant serves great food with a good choice and in the evenings live music, which is low key and in no way intrudes on the dining experience but rather adds to the ambience.
All in all a great place to stay.

  • Liked — Relaxed atmosphere. Spacious, clean and comfortable room. Excellent food
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank primrosejo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
shropshire
Level Contributor
250 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 190 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 13, 2008

Have just come back from a weeks relaxing stay at Ngala.

For first time visitors to The Gambia, don't be put off by the entrance. Once you are through the gates it is an oasis of calm and tranquility. The hotel is quite small with only about 20 or so rooms. All of the rooms are individually furnished with traditional Gambian works of art and wood carvings. Our room, 15, was very large with a reception hall, bedroom with living area having 2 large sofas, dressing area and bathroom. On the large terrace were 2 sun loungers, 2 chairs and a jacuzzi.

The grounds are very pretty and well cared for with numerous sun bathing areas and a small swimming pool. There are also steps down to the beach, which although is not private ( none in Gambia are ) seems to be very rarely used. You will get none of the so called 'hassle'!

The food at the hotel is excellent. Breakfast ranges from the traditional fruit and pastries to a proper full english. The lunch menu is a more limited but still has plenty of options. The dinner menu is fantastic with plenty of meat and fish dishes as well as daily specials.

There are local musicians during dinner, very low key, but otherwise no entertainment. If you are looking to dance the night away, this is not the hotel for you!

One thing to mention is the age group. I am 40 and my partner is 35. We were the youngest by about 20 years. This is not a problem but again, if you are looking for a lively bar culture, this is not the hotel for you.

The Gambian people are very friendly. Do not be put off by some horror stories of locals being pushy. They only want to be friendly and are very interested in Europeans, particularly the British. If at any time you feel intimidated, just firmly say no. Common sense always prevails!!

In all an excellent hotel which i can thouroughly recommend. Any questions, please email me.

  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Ashley J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ngala Lodge

Property: Ngala Lodge
Address: 64 Atlantic Boulevard | P.O. Box 4091, Fajara, Gambia
Location: Gambia > Banjul Division > Fajara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Fajara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Ngala Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Established in 1995, Ngala Lodge - an intimate, child free, boutique hotel of just 18 unique, magnificent suites, set in tropical gardens, overlooking the Atlantic is the perfect place for a romantic break. Recently voted the 4th most romantic hotel in Africa by TripAdvisor Travelers Choice Awards, with arguably the best restaurant in the Gambia, our guests find it hard to leave.Ngala Lodge - where romance isn't just for Valentines Day! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ngala Hotel Fajara
Ngala Lodge Gambia/Fajara

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